February 10th, 2012

S&P 500 – U.S. stocks fell, snapping a five- week-rally for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid concern plans to help Greece avoid default were unraveling.

Citigroup Inc. (C), Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) dropped more than 1.2 percent to pace losses in financial companies. Commodity producers retreated as Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX), Alcoa Inc. (AA) and Halliburton Co. (HAL) slid at least 1.2 percent. LinkedIn Corp., the biggest professional-networking website, jumped 10 percent after it reported sales that more than doubled and forecast higher 2012 revenue.

The S&P 500 declined 0.8 percent to 1,340.92 as of 9:39 a.m. New York time. The benchmark gauge for American equities has fallen 0.3 percent since Feb. 3, snapping the longest weekly rally since January 2011. The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 101.57 points, or 0.8 percent, to 12,788.89 today.

“We’ve had a flip-flop that triggered global selling,” Frederic Dickson, who helps oversee $28 billion as chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon, said in a telephone interview. “Investors are responding to the sudden change in direction or the lack of resolution of the Greek/European problem that they felt was resolved.”

Equities followed a global slump as emergency talks of euro-area finance chiefs broke up late last night with Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker saying Greece must turn its budget cuts into law, flesh out 325 million euros in spending reductions and have its major party leaders sign up to the program so they don’t retreat after upcoming elections.

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Feb 8, 2012

S&P 500 Futures – U.S. stocks were little changed, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached the highest level since 2008, as Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos began talks with political leaders on terms required for a bailout.

Equities reversed gains after a report that the European Central Bank was still divided on its role in a Greek debt restructuring. Six out of 10 groups in the S&P 500 retreated as energy and utility shares had the biggest declines. Sprint (S) Nextel Corp., the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, slumped 2 percent after reporting a wider loss. Hartford (HIG) Financial Services Group Inc. climbed 9.2 percent after billionaire John Paulson demanded action to boost the stock performance.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,346.88 at 1:01 p.m. New York time, after rising as much as 0.3 percent earlier today. The Dow lost 15.48 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,862.72.

“It seems as if everyone is holding their breath and waiting for some kind of resolution in Greece to let us know what direction to take next,” Michelle Gibley, senior market analyst at San Francisco-based Charles Schwab Corp., said in a telephone interview. Her firm has $1.68 trillion in client assets. “A deal will be made ultimately, but policy makers have already proven that deadlines mean little to them.”

Papademos began negotiating with leaders of the political parties supporting his caretaker government as he tried to make up for lost time to secure a second aid package. ECB policy makers are still divided on what contribution the central bank could make, Reuters reported, citing two unidentified euro-zone monetary-policy sources.

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